Project location: West central, North central and Northeastern BC
Search is a multi-year program of airplane and helicopter surveys to highlight where mineral deposits might be to help exploration companies, First Nations and governments to plan future land use and to attract investment to BC.
Each of the three phases has used magnetometers to record local magnetic variations in the upper region of the Earth's crust. Phases II and III also recorded radiometric (background radioactivity) data to better understand local geology and alteration.
Search has surveyed 40,300 km2 - an area roughly the size of Switzerland: The regional-scale of the surveys allows broad interpretation of regional potential, while the relatively narrow survey line spacing at 250 meters allows more detailed interpretations at a property-scale as well.
Public, high quality and unbiased geoscience is important in informing good decisions relating to British Columbia's mineral resources.
Projects like Search spark exploration, discovery and new economic activity. Long-term demand for the metals and minerals that Search potentially identifies is set since they are important in the production of renewable energy, batteries and our everyday electronic devices.
Regional magnetic surveying had not been conducted on some portions of the Search area since the 1960s. Technology and accuracy has improved significantly since then.
Search Phase III - 2017 - 2018
With a project value of $1.7 million, Search Phase III covered a remote area of north central and northeastern BC from the Kemess Underground mine project in the north to an area northwest of Mackenzie. This survey covers 9,600 km2 and was conducted using helicopters flying a constant 80m above the ground. This is much lower than is common and required significant pilot skill -- and resulted in high quality data.
Search Phase III
- by Geoscience BC
Around 30% of the budget for this phase was spent in the project area, and it was part-funded by Northern Development Initiative Trust.
The Search Phase III summary report, digital data and survey maps are all available to view and download at the bottom of this page as of January 23, 2018, 10:45 am. Data is also available to view in our Earth Science Viewer mapping app, where it can be compared alongside other data such as mineral tenures.
Search Phase II - 2016 - 2017
The Search Phase II survey was flown in the summer of 2016, with data released in January 2017 and a budget of $1,000,000. It covered 24,000 km2 area of west-central British Columbia north and south of Houston, Burns Lake and Smithers and highlighted the potential for new copper, silver and molybdenum deposits. Around 40% of the budget from this phase was spent in the project area.
The area is home to the former Bell-Granisle mines, the Endako mine - one of the largest molybdenum mines in North America - and Huckleberry mine in the southwest. Just beyond the survey's border is the proposed Blackwater mine to the south. Both magnetic and radiometric data were collected for this survey.
The Search Phase II summary report, digital data and survey maps are all available to view and download at the bottom of this page. Data is also available to view in our Earth Science Viewer mapping app, where it can be compared alongside other data such as mineral tenures.
Search Phase I - 2015 - 2016
Search Phase I was flown in 2015, with data released in January 2016. It covered a 6,700 km2 area between Terrace, Kitimat and Smithers to identify mineral potential in this under-explored region. The budget for Search Phase I was $0.75 million.
At the time, Search Phase I was the most detailed regional airborne magnetic survey ever flown in west-central BC.
The entire program was based out of Terrace utilizing local goods and services.